OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — A month after his injury, Lamar Jackson remains absent from practice.
Baltimore’s star quarterback hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee Dec. 4 in the Ravens’ victory over Denver, and there was no change to that Wednesday. The Ravens have one more regular-season game this weekend at Cincinnati. Coach John Harbaugh was asked if he expects Jackson to be ready for the playoffs.
“I’m just probably going to leave all that stuff alone,” Harbaugh said. “I’m going to focus on the game and just get ready to coach our guys and have our guys get ready to play the game.”
The Ravens (10-6) have clinched a playoff spot despite being without Jackson for the past four games. Tyler Huntley started those games at quarterback, and Baltimore won two of them.
The Ravens are coming off a 16-13 loss to Pittsburgh in which Huntley completed 14 of 21 passes but threw for only 130 yards.
When Jackson was first injured, Harbaugh said the knee problem wasn’t a season-ending type of issue. The following day, he said Jackson was “week to week” and he hasn’t played since.
Like the rest of the NFL, the Ravens were focused Wednesday on a much more significant medical situation — the status of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who was still in critical condition after his heart stopped and he needed to be resuscitated on the field during a game at Cincinnati on Monday night. That game was suspended.
“The thing we talked to the team about was this idea: It takes a lot of courage,” Harbaugh said. “It takes a lot of courage to do a lot of things in life, and it’s good to remember that. If there’s some good that comes from these types of circumstances, it’s that we all have an opportunity to see the humanity in these kinds of endeavors.”
Defensive back Marlon Humphrey said the Ravens had a chance to talk about it as a team, and that helped.
“Obviously, you say all the time, you put your life on the line kind of playing this game, but it’s crazy for that to really end up like that,” Humphrey said.
The Ravens are in an unusual spot because they had a clear interest in that Bills-Bengals game. They needed Cincinnati to lose to keep their own hopes of winning the AFC North intact.
Since it’s not clear whether the Bills-Bengals game will be completed, it’s not clear if Baltimore’s game against Cincinnati this week has division title implications, but that’s obviously not the football world’s biggest concern right now.
“You hope they make a ruling and just tell us what they’re going to do,” Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “It’s a tough situation — we understand that — and whatever the ruling may be, it is what it is, we’ll accept it.”
Campbell talked a bit about the risks players take when they play football.
“We do really try to hold the NFL accountable and make sure the game is played in the safest environment possible for us,” he said. “You have to know the risks, and you have to choose to go out there and play the game. To make that choice, you have to go out here and give it your all and make sure you do everything possible to give yourself the best opportunity to come out on the other side and be healthy and be able to have a normal life after you retire. … If you start seeing guys retire, you couldn’t fault anybody. I understand.”
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